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Chainsaw Penis is a somewhat infamous "shitcore" band. As they are "shitcore", writing this review from an objective point of view is difficult, because it's a fantastically bad album, in the sense that I enjoy listening to it due to the hilarity of the terrible execution. If I were to grade it based solely on comedic value, it would probably receive a fairly decent score. However, I'm going to grade based on musical value, as well. And the truth is, this album is terrible.
The individual tracks aren't really anything special. There's nothing catchy about any of the tracks, except maybe one, "Anally Raped with Rusty Heroin Needles". The first song, "Intro (It's Not Doom)", is a slow intro, and incredibly boring. It's not really funny either, so there's not much of a point to this track. In fact, there's not much point to most of the tracks. Half of the album isn't worth listening to because there's no value to the songs whatsoever. The first five songs are pointless and humorless. The only song with any musical value is "Anally Raped with Rusty Heroin Needles", which has a cool drum beat.
After those first five pieces of auditory garbage, we have the songs that might actually be worth something. "The Game" is possibly the shortest song ever recorded, so short that my media player won't recognize that the track length exists. "Punching Women Whilst Wearing a Bear Suit" is loaded with Nicholas Cage references; hell, the song itself IS a Nicholas Cage reference. The music is devoid of anything interesting, but at least the samples and lyrics are funny, to some extent. "Metal Is Gay" is just a song where they call a bunch of metal-related things gay, and Judas Priest straight (because Rob Halford is gay, of course). In the middle of the track, they begin to rant about how a single subgenre of metal, black metal, is "really fucking gay". I find the rant humorous, but this doesn't change the fact that the song is terrible from a musical standpoint. Next we have "Fuck The X Factor", which is pretty self-explanatory. They don't like the X Factor. Funny topic, bad song. "The Legend of Penis: Ocarina of Troll" is just an ocarina rendition of that "Trololo" song by Eduard Khil, and it's executed horribly. In an entertaining, "drunk at the karaoke" way, though. At the end, there's a hidden track which is just a vocal cover of "Trololo", performed in the same manner. Overall, the second half of the album is what I like to see in "shitcore": bad music with humorous elements.
The production and mixing is fucking atrocious. Even for a "shitcore" band, it destroys any possibility of catchiness. At least Anal Cunt had decent recording, so you could actually hear the riffs when they were being played. Everything except for the drums sounds as though they were recorded with a webcam. The vocals are weak and vary in volume randomly. The guitar is unclear, and you can't tell what is being played at any time during the album. The bass is audible, which is a good thing, as, because of this, I can sort of tell what the riffs being played are like. Except that backfires, because the riffs are shit, for the most part. The drums sound like an electronic drum kit, and they're probably the most clear part of the entire album. I can always hear the drum beats being played, which is both a blessing and a curse, because they're messy for a lot of the time, which doesn't fit well with the guitar and bass, because they are pretty consistent.
My main issue with the album is that it just isn't funny enough. The first five tracks seem to be filler tracks, and none of them are humorous. The second half of the album is what I'd like to see more from Chainsaw Penis: the side that focuses more on joking around, and less on... I don't even know what the first half of the album is supposed to be focusing on. It's just really bad. In fact, I'd be happier with this album if they just released the last five songs. Filler is not needed; humor is. You're a "shitcore" band, make me laugh.
A lesser, but still significant, issue with this is that it doesn't fulfill the point of "shitcore". The point of "shitcore" is to sound really messy and to act as though you can't play your instrument, not to make really boring riffs with bad recording quality and ridiculous lyrics. The only song that really achieves this is "The Legend of Penis: Ocarina of Troll", which is a shame, because the album would have fared so much better if it were consistently messy.
In conclusion, I give this album a 20%: 5% for dethroning "You Suffer" as the shortest song ever with "The Game", 5% for a somewhat catchy drum beat in "Anally Raped with Rusty Heroin Needles", and 10% for the second half being funny.
I think this is one of those phenomena which are referred to within the scientific community as "holy shit this is really fucking bad how do I turn off my ears". Chainsaw Penis are technically a part of a much larger genre of music that seems to have sprouted around the time that the Internet became an omnipresent force in most teenagers' lives. It's a genre focused on being as intentionally horrible as possible and, presumably, laughing at people who hear your music; some people refer to it as "shitcore" but I've known bands under that label who were actually rather nice, so I'd rather just call it "bad music". As a matter of fact, it's not too accurate to say that Chainsaw Penis are a metal band. Really, it just so happens that, by coincidence, Chainsaw Penis managed to go about playing their form of "bad music" with vaguely metallish riffs and therefore indirectly qualify as a metal band. This is pretty much a failure on every single level, even on the meta-musical scale which the musicians probably took into account while making this release.
The riffs here are somehow not even close to being the worst ever, which perplexes me - you'd think the first thing that a band trying to be horrible would ensure is that the melodies are totally unpleasant - but no, they're just really slow, raw, dark, simplistic chords built into the sort of riffs that would, in an ideal world, be lost to time on Peruvian war metal bands' demo tapes. The music is adequately structured, and there are a few parts that are actually pretty upbeat and catchy (I begrudgingly admit that "Punching Women Whilst Wearing a Bear Suit" has a pretty memorable chorus), but there's so little effort put into any of the individual elements that it's all for naught. The growled vocals sound deliberately weak, slurred and generally half-assed, the screams are way too shrieky and tend to clip through the music, the drum beats are sloppy and hardly ever fit the music on top of them, and the mix in general is awful - or nonexistent? I doubt this was mixed whatsoever, but in any case, the guitar shies away from the rest of the music; it's horribly quiet, and by presenting it that way, the band basically smother the only remotely decent element of the performance.
Now, knowing the type of band this is, I'm sure a large part of their effort was put into the trolling factor of their music, so I need to address that as well (and, really, the music itself is so bare-bones that you'd be hard-pressed to say anything more about it than I already have). I bet that they're thinking to themselves: "WOW WE SURE TROLLED THOSE PEOPLE HARD!!", so I feel the need to point out that they rather effectively failed at that as well. For one, the concept is rather stupid in general: when trying to create joke music, it should ideally make the listener upset. Covering yourself in shit and running around saying "LOL I R SHIT LOOK AT ME" may make people upset, but if you make yourself look like a bigger idiot than the people you're baiting, then you have utterly failed as a troll. Anal Cunt were one of the only (possibly "the only", period) intentionally shitty and offensive band who succeeded in that sense, and do you know why? Because they were actually offensive. They attacked basic social decency, praised despised members of society and just generally acted like the audial equivalent of an 8th grade burnout who bullies everyone else in the school. Chainsaw Penis don't even provide that sort of refreshing offensiveness to the table, they just quote asinine Internet memes and seem to think that it'll draw some sort of reaction. Chainsaw Penis seem to think their <1-second microsong titled "The Game" will bring a reaction along the lines of "OMG THEY SAID 'THE GAME' FUCK I LOST THE GAME"; the band randomly devolve mid-track into a contrived rant about how black metal is gay; there's a song about Nicholas Cage (coincidentally, his role in a movie that the Internet loves to fetishize, hmm hmm?); and the outro song is an ocarina rendition of the "Trololol" song followed by an a cappella performance. Do they seriously expect people to listen to this and feel impressed by the band's "master trole 2012"? And then you have "Fuck the X Factor", which I presume was made with the intention of trolling "normal" people, but Chainsaw Penis fail to even present it in the right context for it to be potent (think about it: they're showing their music to pea-brained metalheads, who will in all likelihood merely agree with their assessment of the show). This is juvenile shit. This the kind of crap 12-year-olds cut their teeth on before they're even ready to lurk on 4chan. If you want to be offensive, you don't paste Trollfaces over all your band's artwork: you deny transsexual people their right to choose their sexual identity. You talk about how black people are filthy welfare monkeys who are a scourge of society. You single out and harass homosexuals. You know, you do things that aren't acceptable to put on shirts that you can find in Hot Topic stores.
You could maybe argue that I've fallen victim to the exact sort of trolling the band were attempting (i.e. getting a reaction out of people like me by intentionally using shitty memes to troll), but again, if your trolling just makes you look like a bigger idiot than the people you're baiting, it's less of trolling and more just seeking attention through self-deprecation. The ocarina cover of the "Trololol" song is pretty objectively shitty and warbles out of tune horribly, but the inherent sound of the instrument is better than pretty much all the other music on the album. Aside from that, it's just a 13-minute (yet somehow simultaneously horribly drawn-out) ride of shitty bedroom death metal mixed with I Can Has Cheezburger-level "trolling" based around dried-up memes. Don't listen to this - hell, forget it even exists - unless you're either an 11-year-old with hormone-fueled edgy proclivities, or a complete fucking tool.
Chainsaw Penis are a grindcore band who aim to be as terrible as possible, and they've definitely succeeded. This is silly grindcore reading straight from Anal Cunt's rulebook, titling songs like them, i.e. "Metal Is Gay", "Punching Women Whilst Wearing A Bear Suit"
Despite being deliberately awful, the band do have a few things going for them. The guitar tone on this demo is very heavy, possibly to do with the fuzzy production. The riffs are pretty slow paced and mixed with embarrassingly bad vocals. The growls are very average and the shrieks could be mistaken for Seth Putnam. At a few points in the album the band stop playing for the sole purpose of ranting about certain subjects such as how "gay" black metal is and how much the X-Factor sucks (which it does, as if I needed to tell you that). Of course this demo wouldn't be complete without silly samples and the band deliver on that too with the beginning of "Punching Women While Wearing A Bear Suit"
The album also begins with an intro, titled "It's Not Doom". It reminds me of the intro from "Obsessed by Cruelty" by Sodom, but the final track is really where the band start to show how seriously they take themselves with a short flute piece followed by several minutes of silence before the band start doing the "trolololololol" song the late Eduard Khil was known for.
And of course, they have the obligatory microsong in "The Game". Possibly beating "You Suffer" for the shortest song ever recorded, it doesn't even register as a song in my music library. It's like, a microsecond or something.
If you like silly grind that is not even remotely serious then this demo should be for you. The band are trying to be funny and shit and they've succeeded in both aspects.
First off, I acknowledge the absurdity in writing a review about something that possibly wasn't created with artistic/creative/musical intentions. With that in mind, I've heard black metal demos that sounded worse than this and took themselves seriously, so why the hell not? Chainsaw Penis is not so much a grindcore band as it is a body of postmodern social criticism. From the poignant remarks made in "Metal is Gay" and "Fuck the X-Factor", it's clear that this is a group of gentlemen quite malcontent with the modern culture they deem to be decadent and shallow. It's dubious whether that much thought or intent went into Chainsaw Penis in the first place, but I like to think that it did. In a word, it's horrid, and I'm not sure it would have worked any other way.
At thirteen minutes, "50 Shades of Shit" manages to pack quite a bit into a little more than the time it takes for the kettle to boil. The songs (it may be more fitting to simply refer to them as 'tracks') can be split into two categories. The first of these are the more traditional grindcore tunes. The drums seem structured enough, falling somewhere between generic blastbeats and a child playing drums on New Year's Day after getting a kit for Christmas. The vocals are growled and incomprehensible, and the guitars are mixed too far below the drums to mean anything. There's really not much to say about it, except for the fact that Chainsaw Penis may have beaten out Napalm Death for the award of shortest song with "The Game". I just lost it.
The second category of songs here are the gimmicks, and this is where Chainsaw Penis unveil their sensitive, socially conscious side. Apparently "Fuck the X-Factor" was featured on a Terrorizer compilation, and that is a miracle, one way or the other. After several tunes of mindless noise, there is a ridiculously articulate moment of spoken word dialogue where Chainsaw Penis lament the woes of the aforementioned television programme. I don't think they will need to convince anyone about how bad it is however; I figure if the events and circumstances of someone's life have led them to listen to "50 Shades of Shit", it's doubtful that they give a shit what Simon Cowell thinks.
As much as Chainsaw Penis might want their anti-music to be completely worthless, it isn't. Although the social criticism may not be taken seriously by post-graduate academics for a few years to come, there are admitted laughs here. "Punching Women Whilst Wearing A Bear Suit" recalls the tragically horrible remake of The Wicker Man, a film that fits Chainsaw Penis' music like an AIDS-infested glove. "Metal is Gay" doesn't do anything Anal Cunt didn't already do, but it brings up a valid point. Apparently saving the biggest surprise for last, Chainsaw Penis deliver something that might closely resemble music with "The Legend of Penis". It's hilariously disturbing and surreal that someone in a shitcore band has an ocarina, and can actually play it (albeit half-horribly). Even then though, Chainsaw Penis are remarking on the omnipresence of internet culture, recalling that "Tro-lo-lo" song from the recently departed Eduard Khil. The humor here isn't for everyone, but I'll admit there were a few laughs along the way. Even though "50 Shades of Shit" had some saving grace to its name, I still believe in the band; someday, I am sure they will hit the brown ratio and create something entirely worthless. Until then, we must suffice with merely 'horrible'.